“What did you do today?”

The question caused shivers. Why does she care? The truth is she does not, she just wants us to share our lives. I should be polite. “Breathed.”

“Okay. Well, a woman came by asking for you. She was really pretty.”

“That’s nice.”

“Don’t you want to know what she said?”

How to state my indifference... I shrug the giant gentle shoulders helping to carry the good of the world.

“Well, aren’t you in a mood.”

Shoulders shrug.

“You aren’t going to get a little somethin’-somethin’ treating me like that.”

Shrug.

“Everything okay?”

“Fine. I am going to carry a boulder up that hill on the trail behind your house.”

“Uhm...okay, but why?”

“The vessel of the mind must be prepared to protect the mind.”

“You’re weird.”

Why am I living here?! Candy is meant to be eaten, savored in moderation, not retained.

Without further word, the small abode was left and the shrugging shoulders of indifference did not return until exhaustion had spent the body hours later.

Read.

Sleep.

Early rise and the pressing of the coffee bean behind the cloak of an apron. The day was boring, ordinary, as any on a slow suffering path of suicide.

“Having a good day?” Heshe asked.

Shrug.

“Well that beeeeauuuutiful woman over there at that table wants to talk with you when you get your next break, sour puss.”

At a small table sat an unusually attractive woman — unusual because there was nothing fake or forced about her beauty, she was simply one of nature’s perfections, an amends for the grotesque, ugly offerings nature seems to spew so freely. It was time for a break.

“Thank you.”

“Anytime, sweetie. You know I’m here for you,” Heshe offered, batting the mascaraed eyes.

“Thanks.”

Sitting at the small table, nothing was offered in speech. I had not sought her, so wanted nothing from her but to become drunk in her beauty. I had to make adjustments while sitting in my seat to make allowance for the firm, growing desire.

“Hi,” she offered, smiling, after a long silence.

No shrug, but a generous smile of desire.

“Well, we...a friend of mine, of yours, wants to talk with you, but he did not want to come in here. He thought it would be bad for you.”

“Who?”

“He told me to tell you to come, that he has your money.”

Friend? Money? Sounds like a trap. “Is he here?”

“Tell me when you want to go and I will take you to him. After work today? Tomorrow? Next week?”

“Now.”

“Right now? Are you off?”

“Taking a break. Is he nearby?”

“Down the street a little, then just around the corner.”

“Let’s go.”

The view with pleasant palpitations from behind was nearly as perfect as it was from the front.

After a few minute walk with a fetching view, she led me into a sandwich shop under construction.

“A lot of TI going on here.”

“TI?” she asked.

“Tenant improvement.”

“Oh, yeah. Should be done soon. The sooner the better.”

“Looks good.”

“Let me see if he’s in back.”

Before she could go to find the man who sought my presence, he stepped from in back. I recognized him immediately.

“Hey!” he shouted.

Shaking his hand and sharing a smile, I replied, “Looks good. This is what you did with your money?”

“This and 5 more. I’m all in. Either it works or it doesn’t.”

“Better be a pretty special sandwich.”

“Sandwich, salad, baked goods, we’ll have it all. Here, try this. We were testing these in back.”

It was an excellent and delightful consumptive experience. “Wow, surprisingly good.”

“I see you met my new friend.”

“Yes. Beautiful. Regardless, can’t be worse than the last.”

“I’m telling you, people do not understand. She is absolutely beautiful, but it is her warmth and charm that caught me. I’ve had beauty that was really hideous, and this one is more beautiful inside than out.”

“Hard to believe, that’s quite a high standard.”

He laughed. She blushed.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to keep you, but I wanted to give you the money I promised.”

“You don’t have to, I don’t need it. I didn’t do it for the money.”

“Nor did I do it for the money. I was happy I was able to get a crack at that asshole manager of yours. I never imagined your company would be so quick to pay up such a ridiculous amount of money to shut me up and get ownership of that video of him ‘beating’ me.”

We both chuckled.

“Fate was generous that day.”

“Yes, it was, but if it were not for you the day would have never happened. I figured we would split it, but I don’t want your name on anything showing I paid you, so I will pay all the taxes in my name, etcetera. So you can get half of your half as cash. I have it and can bring it to you. It’s in my safe at home. It’s way too much to keep around here.”

“Thank you,” I offered with mixed emotions.

“You don’t seem excited? Do you know how much this is? You can quit your job. I would have thought...”

“Sorry. I have been saving my checks, getting nowhere, telling myself I want my compound back, but now I am not sure. If you give me that money, I may buy a compound and anchor myself. I... Just now, in this instant, I know I don’t want that right now.”

“I understand. I can hold if for you until you’re ready?”

“That sandwich was excellent.”

“Thanks.”

“You’re opening 6 of these places?”

“To start.”

“Why not 10?”

“Can only leverage so much.”

“Taking investors?”

“Uh...”

“Well?”

“I, uh... I mean...”

“Will my share buy me a 20% interest?”

“Absolutely, but I could lose everything.”

“Well, then I wouldn’t have to worry about what to do with the money.”

“I’m going to make you a rich man.”

“I believe you, but I don’t know that I want that either.”

He laughed. She smiled. I shrugged.

The two of us drew up a contract, his luscious lipped lover and a construction worker were witnesses. I now owned 20% of a sandwich empire, and did not care it disappeared tomorrow.

“I have to get back to work.”

“Why don’t you quit? Come to work for me...for yourself...with the company you own with me?”

“I am a silent partner. I know enough about myself to know I conquer or I submit, vanish...vanish or vanquish...that should be my motto. I wish to submit, to be subservient to your dream. If I were to become involved, I would feel the need to conquer and own your dream, just because it is who I am. I trust you. I submit to you. And now I must submit to those who demand freshly crushed roasted coffee beans.”

“But... If you can do it there you can do it here?”

“No, I don’t own or manage or worry about the coffee house. I am there to crush beans and make a mediocre cup of coffee that satisfies the over-considering palettes of a bunch of group thinkers. These people don’t know a good cup of coffee until they all agree it is a good cup, even if it is swill...and it often is. I am just a bean crusher there, learning a bit about humility...”

“I see.”

“Yeah, but I expect I will be leaving there soon.”

“And...?”

“Don’t know, but I must go. Thank you and good luck.”

“Okay. Don’t forget your copy of the contract. And don’t worry, I’ll have a lawyer make this legal legit right away, in case I become involved with another black widow.”

“Good luck.”

“Thank you. I will do my best to make you rich.”

“There are many things I desire in life, and I must admit that being rich monetarily is not amongst them. It sounds, feels burdensome.”

That, I don’t understand, so I will try anyway. And who knows, by the time I do it, you may be ready.”



Oh, I’ll be ready, but for what I do not know.

Money. If it was the key to happiness, man would pursue it instead of sweet candiliciousness, and men pursue sweet, sticky, moist candy using every cent they acquire...always looking for one more taste of deliciousness.

Money.

How boring.

Yet I return to my menial job, obviously for something more than nothing?

There is no joy in absolute poverty.